The Washington Nationals continue to stay atop the National League East.
The team is neck-and-neck with the Atlanta Braves, but thanks to the offensive work of Adam LaRoche, Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth, outfielder Bryce Harper can ease himself back into the lineup.
Harper will be returning to the Nationals’ lineup any day now. He was sidelined due to an injury in mid-Mady when he was hitting .289 with an on-base-percentage of .352. In his absence, the Nationals have proven that they can win without him, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want him back.
His bat will add more power to the lineup and round out an already stellar offense.
In a minor league rehab game for Harper this week, he went 4-5 with three home runs and five RBIs. He brings with him the ability to hit 20 home runs a year and the potential for more if he remains healthy.
The meat of the Nationals’ lineup is producing and Harper will just be an extra boost of energy to the first place team. Along with Rendon, Ian Desmond is the other big power hitter in the batting order right now. With Harper back, the Nationals have consistent power throughout the entire order.
It can be difficult for a player like Harper to live up to the hype that comes with his major league career, but the Nationals finally have established themselves as a serious contender. They won’t be relying on one or two players to carry the team through to the All-Star break, and that works great for Harper. He will be able to find his swing and get comfortable in the lineup on his own time.